Initial Report on John Graham's Extradition Appeal
About 60 supporters of former American Indian Movement warrior, John Graham, showed up at Vancouver's Supreme Court on the morning of May 17, 2007, to oppose the US government's attempt to extradite him on the charge of murdering fellow AIM member Anna Mae Pictou Aquash. Only some 50 supporters were able to actually sit in court because by the time they arrived it was full beyond seating capacity with other supporters as well as members of the corporate media.
Initial Report on John Graham's Extradition Appeal
About 60 supporters of former American Indian Movement warrior, John Graham, showed up at
Vancouver's Supreme Court on the morning of May 17, 2007, to oppose the US government's
attempt to extradite him on the charge of murdering fellow AIM member Anna Mae Pictou
Aquash. Only some 50 supporters were able to actually sit in court because by the time
they arrived it was full beyond seating capacity with other supporters as well as members
of the corporate media.
In attendance was one of Anna Mae's two daughters, Deborah Maloney, who is a member of the
Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Graham turned himself over to court sheriffs in the morning, was held in a cell during
proceedings and did not appear in court. The three judges reserved their decision and
re-released Graham on bail and house arrest.
On Tuesday, about 30 supporters of John Graham held a rally for him in Grandview Park in
In light of this, it is relevant to review AIM warrior Leonard Peltier's public statements
on the Anna Mae Pictou Aquash murder investigation, Graham's arrest and extradition
process, and Peltier's submission of an affidavit to John Graham's defense against
In a 1999 public letter, Leonard Peltier stated, "Anna Mae was murdered because she was a
skilled organizer and leader for our people," and that he does not want to be part of a
murder investigation carried out in part by Robert Ecoffey.
Ecoffey was a Bureau of Indian Affairs cop on Pine Ridge who worked with the FBI agents
who Peltier was framed for killing. Ecoffey also took part in the shoot-out at Oglala on
the side of the US government agencies and testified against Peltier in his trial for the
murder of the agents.
In public statements released in 1999 and 2003 and in an affidavit that Peltier submitted
to John Graham's defense against extradition, Peltier stated that Robert Branscombe
visited him in jail and told him that if he cooperated with the government in their
prosecution of the case he would be let out of prison. Of course, Peltier refused.
In Peltier's 2003 statement on the arrest of John Graham in Vancouver, he said, "It is
obvious to anyone who looks at the past few years with an open mind and a remembrance of
COINTELPRO, that the FBI's program of misinformation and discrediting of activists is
alive and well. I encourage all who come into contact with this finger-pointing behavior
to also look at the person pointing."
In a 2004 statement, Peltier said, "The Arlo Looking Cloud trial was nothing more than an
indirect presentation of another Myrtle Poorbear to discredit AIM and myself, and to
extradite John Graham. I am an innocent man. The government knows that, and Kamook knows I
am innocent as well."
In Arlo's trial, former AIM member Kamook Nichols testified that she was a paid informant
and that Peltier had admitted to her that he killed the FBI agents. She later married
investigator Robert Ecoffey.
Peltier said in his 2004 statement on John Graham's extradition hearing that FBI Agent
David Price tried to cover up Anna Mae's death, but when this was no longer possible, due
to the findings of an independent pathologist, "the FBI issued a false press release
implying that some of her own people murdered Annie Mae because they believed she was an
In the book "The Life and Death of Anna Mae Aquash" by Johanna Brand, Anna Mae Pictou
Aquash of the Mi'kmaq Nation is quoted as saying, "My efforts to raise the consciousness
of Whites who are so against Indians in the States are bound to be stopped by the FBI..."
Brand quotes from a letter Anna Mae wrote to her sister Rebecca Julian, after her November
1975 arrest in Oregon by state troopers acting on FBI information.
The full text of Leonard Peltier's statements and affidavit can be found here:
A corporate news article follows:
No 'rubber stamp'
John Graham's lawyers argue courts here have duty to question U.S. evidence
Suzanne Fournier, The Province
Published: Friday, May 18, 2007
Lawyers for aboriginal activist John Graham told the B.C. Court of Appeal yesterday his
extradition order should be overturned because the rules of evidence around extradition
hearings have changed.
Graham, 51, has been ordered extradited to the U.S. in connection with the murder in 1975
of Canadian Miq'maq Indian Anna Mae Aquash in South Dakota.
Lawyers Terence LaLiberte and Greg DelBigio argued that a recent Supreme Court of Canada
decision in the case of Shane Tyrone Ferras has "changed the rules" about the reliability
of evidence a Canadian judge must consider before handing over an accused to the U.S.
LaLiberte said the Feb. 21, 2005, decision to extradite Graham to the U.S. by B.C. Supreme
Court Judge Elizabeth Bennett must be revisited because it came before the landmark July
21, 2006, Ferras decision, which he said changes Bennett's "very, very narrow
interpretation of her role and jurisdiction."
Bennett said in handing down the extradition order that "the evidence in my view has been
presented in a most unsatisfactory manner" but Canada's extradition law did not entitle
her to question evidence from the U.S.
The appeal court reserved decision.
Graham is free under house arrest.
"Now the Canadian judges can't just rubber-stamp extraditions," he said, hugging his
three-year-old granddaughter Rachel, her mother Chusia, 21, and his daughter Naneek, 29.
His sons JT, 24, and Jimmy, 26, came from Calgary and Whitehorse for the appeal.
The U.S. claims that John Graham is actually John Boy Patton and that he shot Aquash in
the back of the head and left her in a snowbank to die.
In court yesterday was one of Aquash's two daughters, Deborah Maloney, an RCMP officer
from Nova Scotia.
"I was 10 when I lost her and I remember everything about her," said an emotional Maloney
"I came here to represent my mother and the 10,000 members of the Miq'maq Nation. It's
been a very lengthy process but I feel satisfied with the process occurring, and that if
there is an extradition, it will be just and lawful."
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